Tag: summer activities

Should you really avoid SPF over 50? We’ve got facts, and we’ve got answers.

Growing up as a fair-skinned, redheaded kid, I’m no stranger to the intricacies of SPF labels. Or sunburns. Like lots of us, I always believed that the higher the SPF, the better the sun protection I’d get, but that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, the EWG warns against sunscreens with very high SPF over 50, and that goes for kids and adults. In fact, they say flat out to avoid SPF over 50. But, why? Related: 2017 EWG best safe sunscreens for kids and babies: Which is the most affordable? First off, what is SPF? SPF, or Sun...

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A fun board game for summer that our kids can’t stop playing.

Last week, my son and I visited the Innovator’s Fair here in Philadelphia and discovered our newest board game obsession: Maze Racers. It combines creativity and building with mazes in a super fun way. Let’s just say, we’re all addicted. Including me. Related: The best board games for summer travel.  The game comes with two magnetic boards, a bunch of small magnetized foam pieces in various shapes and sizes, and marbles. Using the pieces, each player creates their own maze (like a Labyrinth, if you ever played with those), then passes their board to their opponent. The goal is...

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Everybody in the pool! 10 of the coolest pool floats for the whole family that are sure to make a big splash.

Sure you can bring out the boring inner tubes at the pool this summer, but we say go big with one of the coolest pool floats around. Sure, some of these are a bit spendy, but these 10 inflatables offer fun and lazy lounging for the whole family. Plus, they’re totally Instaworthy. Everybody in the pool! CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Life saver! 8 super cool swimsuits for picky tweens and teens that their mothers will approve of too. Chocolate Donut Pool Float ($20, Big Mouth Inc.) The good news is that this super sweet Chocolate Donut float won’t melt...

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We’ve found the cutest pool floaties known to man…or bird.

Pool accessories have come a long way since I was a kid. Back then, we made do with inner tubes and foam noodles, but now there’s larger-than-life, lounge-able swans and rainbow unicorns. Not to mention huge floating hashtags. But my favorite new pool must-have takes the trend small-scale, with these magical inflatable Pink Flamingos Arm Floaties. OMG, adorable. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: We’ve got five of the cutest reusable swim diapers for boys.  Love that these long-legged wonders have graduated from kitschy lawn art (no offense, Grandma!) to seriously cool summer garb, and we predict they’ll be...

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8 of the coolest summer water activities for your backyard. (Pool? What pool?)

Summer comes in two settings: Hotter and Hottest. That’s why we love these amazing summer water activities for the backyard that we found on some of our favorite sites around the web. I mean I know that for kids, a nice, cool pool is often the most hoped-for remedy; but for parents, we know it’s not always the easiest. Or the most practical. Between pool membership costs, carpooling conflicts, and let’s be honest, total lack of interest in fighting with some teenager who you catch trying to steal your lounge chair, hitting the local pool may not be in the cards...

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20+ backyard party ideas: Host the best summer party on your block.

Warmer weather means moving the inside activities outside, which is an all-around good thing — especially when it comes to those long summer day get-togethers. Parties are somehow just more fun when they’re in the backyard (and we admit, the easier-to-clean-up aspect is pretty appealing too). Since every outdoor event can only get better with a few awesome backyard party ideas, we searched around the web to find our very favorites. At top: Mini Water Blobs | Hello, Wonderful CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Budget-friendly tricks for hosting a fabulous outdoor party. Backyard party ideas for invitations One of the best things about...

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5 creative ways to make a summer bucket list with your kids. Let the fun begin!

Summer break is here for my kids (yes, already!), which means I’m looking down the barrel of 13 long, lovely (and lively, knowing my crew) weeks at home. We have a lot of things we want to do — go for hikes, do every single craft in Project Kid (ha!), touch a frog (really!). But most days I look up and it’s already lunch time…and nap time for the toddler. Then, there goes all our plans. So, I’ve been researching some creative ways to make a summer bucket list with my kids. It’s going to help us narrow down our list to...

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The best family board games for summer travel…because good things come in small packages.

My family loves to play board games. I’m talking, big, involved, takes-three-hours-to-play board games. And what better time to play than when we’re on summer vacation? But, it can be tricky to travel with big boxes full of a zillion pieces. Luckily, we have found a few games we love that come in boxes small enough to easily toss in a backpack or tote bag. So, if you’re looking for some offline family fun that you can take with you, wherever you’re headed this summer, check out these 5 family board games for travel. In fact, these are the ones I’m packing for our trip...

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7 awesome page-turners your early readers really need to check out this summer

My kids are officially on summer break (I know, already!) so we’re hitting up the library ASAP to get started on our summer reading lists. My Kindergartner has made amazing strides this year with his reading, and these early reader books are all geared toward kids his age. So, if your kid is just giving up the picture books — or even still holding onto them tightly — but is more or less ready to move on to their first big kid chapter books, we’ve got 7 early reader summer reading books we think they’ll love. Because ours do. At top: Narwhal: Unicorn of...

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The coolest summer activity books for kids. Because, this summer, there will be no such thing as “I’m so booooored!”

As much as we’re looking forward to summer and all of the many kids’ activities that come with it, we have to say that it’s those long days of no activities that can be most stressful. That’s why we made this list of awesome summer activity books for kids — with these on hand, your kids will have approximately zero reasons to be bored. At top: Go Photo! by Alice Proujansky CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Made-for-summer crafts that will keep your kids creatively and happily occupied. Fill-Me-In by author/illustrator Moose Allain was on our list of best activity books for summer last year, and you can...

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2017 EWG best safe sunscreens for kids and babies: Which is the most affordable?

Every year, I take a look at the Environmental Working Group’s report on the best safe sunscreens for kids and babies. This list measures popular brands against the EWG’s standards, including everything from worrisome ingredients to false marketing claims. Not every top-ranked tube of lotion is the same value for the dollar, though, so I’ve broken down all 19 of their best safe sunscreens for kids by price per ounce. Because I’ll bet there are other parents like me, who want safe products for their kids but don’t feel the need to spend more money than necessary. Top photo: © Kate Etue for Cool Mom Picks...

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8 tips and tricks you can start now to help your kids avoid the summer slide. Because, it’s coming.

Summer break will be here in just a minute, but there are some things you can start planning now to help make sure your kids don’t hit the summer slide on their reading and math skills over the break. Research shows that most kids lose about two months’ of learning over the summer — and have for the last 100 years or so. But by putting some simple (and, yes, even fun!) activities in place for the summer, you can help your kids retain what they’ve learned this year. We’ve polled everyone from teachers to administrators to BTDT parents to find...

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The quick-fix, natural bug bite remedy that really works. Really!

With the weather getting warming and my kids spending the afternoons playing outside, we’re starting to see a lot more bug bites on their tender, sensitive skin. Mean ones. The kind that turn bright red, itch like crazy, and keep them up at night. Ugh! But, I’ve found an incredibly easy, quick-fix, natural bug bite remedy that I’m itching (ha!) to share. Because, it really works! And you most likely already have everything you need to make it right in your pantry at home. Related: Your essential guide to the best, safe tick repellents for kids this spring. Because, eek. All you need...

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This Is How We Do It: The fabulous new book that teaches kids empathy while celebrating diversity.

One of the best ways our kids can learn empathy and celebrate diversity is to see the myriad of ways different people live their lives all around the world. Which is why I am loving the brand-new children’s book, This Is How We Do It, by Matt Lamothe. My kids get to see that their way of life isn’t the only way. And that’s a really important lesson. For us all. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: 9 lovely children’s books about the immigrant experience to help encourage more kindness and empathy. Related: The One Globe Kids app takes your children around the...

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The wackiest, coolest summer camps for kids. Can we go too?

Summer camps have changed a lot since we were kids. No offense to good ol’ Camp Starfire and the many, many lanyards we made there, but the options for our kids are wildly creative, expertly thought-out, and — sometimes — curiously specific. Circus camp? Spy camp? Zombie survival camp? Check, check, and OMG check. With a list like this, your kids are sure to be happy campers — so much so, maybe they’ll forget to pretend to be homesick. But, before you pack your kids up and ship them off to, say, stunt double training (yes, really), be sure to vet each of these camps yourself....

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How to get free admission during National Park Week

If this gorgeous spring weather has you itching to get outside with your family, we’ve got the perfect excuse to head out to one of our national parks this weekend: it’s free! This year, the National Park Service turns 100 years old, and to celebrate, during National Park Week (April 16-24), admission at all national parks will be free. As in, totally free. For everyone. Whoo!   Related: 22 National Parks and Sites you can visit without hiking boots. Maybe even without a plane ticket. Of course, we’ve been motivated do whatever we can to support to the awesome National Parks program lately, as...

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The panicky mom’s guide to removing ticks from kids — yikes!

You may be wondering just how to remove ticks from your kids, should the need arise. And we don’t blame you one bit. With the warmer weather comes longer days spent outdoors and kids running barefoot in the yard. Also, increased warning about ticks and Lyme disease thanks to a booming tick population this spring. Eek! So to put anxious minds at ease — including our own — we’ve done the research for you and put together this handy guide to removing ticks from kids. Just know we’re not trying to set off any alarm bells here; please know that some experts put your children’s risk of getting...

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Your essential guide to the best, safe tick repellents for kids right now. Because, eek.

We’re not alarmists around here, but we admit, we’ve been researching safe tick repellents for our own kids. The data we’re seeing on the booming tick population around the country this spring is a little disconcerting, and overall, Lyme disease has been on the rise — at least tripling since the 1990s. Kind of scary for those of us with kids who love to be outdoors. So, I’ve been rolling up my sleeves to scout out the best, safe tick repellents for kids. Because yes to kids playing outside all day — but a massive no to any associated parental anxiety. CMP...

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Turn signal gloves, inflatable helmets and other cool bike safety gear for the whole family

This summer my family hit a new milestone on our bikes: my youngest learned to ride without training wheels, and my oldest is now big enough to be trusted to ride his bike a couple blocks to his friend’s house on his own. (Although I still sit next to the phone until that “got there” text comes through. Exhale.) But now that my kids are growing more independent on their bikes, I’m thinking of some gear — beyond the mandatory helmet — that can help them stay safe on the roads during the day and night. From innovative lighting...

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